Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mortality.


10 years ago today my life was turned upside down. I wrote in depth about it two years ago and you can read about it here. One thing that I want to stress is I am not writing about this looking for people to feel sorry for me. Death is a part of our lives and you have two options, bury yourself in grief or move forward. I am going forward and am enjoying life.

Subconsciously however, this year it has been more on my mind than in the past. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was having a major case of writers block. This is what caused it. I really wasn't aware of it until I took the time to analyze it. So why is it bothering me more this year? I believe it is because this is the tenth year. There is something about every 10 that makes it more significant. One of Jack Benny's long time gags was that he was 39 years old, never turning 40. The older he got the funnier the joke was, but to some it is no joke. Considering the alternative, I would rather get older.

One of my favorite Harry Chapin songs is called There Only Was One Choice. Unless you are a Harry fan you probably have never heard it because it is a 15 minute song. One of my favorite lines from the song is:
I have a problem with my aging
I no longer can ignore
A tamed and toothless tabby
Can't produce a lion's roar.

We all know there is only one outcome to life. When younger we feel we are indestructible and don't worry about it. As we age we begin to accept the inevitability of it. I have debated with myself as to which is harder to deal with, the suddenness of death like with my wife, or the waiting for the inevitable like with my Dad. Neither is easy but life does go on for the rest of us. There is a period of intense grief, but then you have to move forward. I know people who can't do that. My wife was like that after her dad died. I focus on the now, with occasional side trips like what I have experienced recently. One message I have continually spread is let those you love know how you feel. You really don't know when you won't be able to do so anymore.

My plans for today is to keep myself busy and not be home until I am ready to collapse into bed. I am going to one of my favorite places in Georgia, the Chicamauga Battlefield. I love history and that is a great place to go and be alone with your thoughts. To those of you who read this I want you to know that I really do appreciate you. We may have never met but I consider you all good friends. Have a great day. I plan to.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Responsibility.


Once again we have someone who failed to use common sense and now wants to sue over it. Lauren Rosenberg is suing Google because she was hit by a car when she followed Google Maps while walking to a destination in Park City, Utah. Part of the route called for her to use a highway. Since there were no sidewalks, Ms. Rosenberg decided the best way to travel that road was to walk down the center of it. Not surprisingly, she was hit by a car. In addition to Google she is also suing the driver who hit her. Her lawyer said he was amazed at the negative publicity that his client has received from this. He also was amazed to learn that there is no Santa Claus.

Too many people today need a class in common sense. Ms Rosenberg is in her 20's, which makes her old enough to know that walking down the middle of a highway is not a good idea. I have not yet ran across a story that says what time the accident happened, but I have seen enough to get the impression that it was in the evening. If that is the case it makes what she did even more ridiculous.

It seems today that no one wants to accept responsibility for their actions. If something bad happens the first thing a lot of people do is try to figure out who they can sue. I am not totally against lawsuits. If someone sells a defective product they should be held accountable. If a doctor is truly negligent he should pay the price. However, a company that makes curling irons should not have to tell people not to use this while you are asleep. You are responsible for your own actions. It is time that comes back into effect.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Need A Car?




A 1965 used Astin Martin. Driven by some guy named Bond while chasing someone with the odd name of Auric Goldfinger. The asking price is only $4 million. What a bargain.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise.



I am my own tax preparer. I always file form 1040-EZ so I see no sense in paying someone else to do it. (Of course that makes my inner Jack Benny happy.) This year I filed on April 15 because I owed almost $100. The reason that I owed was from working at Taco Bell last year where nothing was withheld. So I filed, paid, and forgot about it.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday I recieved a letter from the IRS. The first thing I did was check the name and address. They matched. I opened the envelope, looked at the check, and got very happy. A note in it said I would receive an explanation in a few days. As far as how much I got, lets just say it was a little more than the $20 in my illustration. I have another five day vacation coming up this weekend so I will now do a little more than I planned. Incidentally, I will not be taking another blog break this time.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hulk Hogan's Humiliation.


Hulk Hogan has been having a rough time lately. He has gone through a well publicized divorce, his son was involved in an automobile accident that left his friend paralyzed, his attempt at showing up Vince McMahon failed, he chemically burned his hair off, and now he claims to be humiliated by a Post cereal commercial. Here is the commercial:




Hogan seems to be a little lawsuit happy lately. In addition to Post he is also suing Wells Fargo, claiming that he was under-insured because they never told him he should have had more insurance because of the risks involved with insuring teenage drivers. WHAT?? His son was involved in what is called drift racing and had been ticketed several times for speeding. Hogan's insurance only paid $250,000, which was all the coverage that he had paid for. He is claiming that Wells Fargo put his $30 million fortune in jeopardy. As I recall during his divorce Hogan was accused of hiding assets. At that time his wealth was estimated at $9.5 million. Where did the rest of the money come from? Hogan, you got some 'splainin' to do.

As for the Post commercial, he may have a point as far as the likeness goes. There are rules about using a persons image and I agree that Post does owe him a little money. But as to his claim that he was humiliated by that commercial, poppycock!! (How many times to you see that word any more?) How can someone claim humiliation from a cartoon image when he did this?



To quote Stan Lee, "'Nuff said."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Song.



This is my favorite song from the first Shrek movie.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Goodbye Little Buddy.


Bun died around 10:00 last night, just as I was getting ready for work. He was just laying on the floor and I figured he wouldn't make it until morning. I petted him for a couple of minutes and then got ready for work. I heard a strange noise and after checking on him realized that what I heard was his last breath.

Bun came from a pet store in Rome. She Who Left In The Middle Of The Night wanted a rabbit. I wasn't enthused about it but agreed to get him. When she departed Bun stayed. He probably wouldn't have survived the trip and I didn't mind his being left behind. By then he had been growing on me.

I am not sure exactly what happened to him. He hadn't been real well for a few days but I never realized just how bad he was. His appetite dropped a little but not enough that I was concerned. I am going to miss him, but I won't be replacing him. I had decided some time ago that he would be the last pet that I would have. I buried him in a wooded area nearby. I took some pictures but the sky was overcast and they didn't turn out well. When I get better lighting I will take a few more pictures and post them here.

Rest in peace little buddy. You will be missed.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shrek Forever After.



Tuesday I saw what is being billed as the final Shrek movie. It will probably be the last, but as Sean Connery found out, never say never. I enjoyed this more than the last one but it wasn't quite as goos as the first two. This time Shrek discovers that being a husband and dad is hard work. He wishes that he could be the ogre that he was for just one day. He is overheard by Rumplestiltskin who gives him the chance to do that. Of course Shrek doesn't read the fine print in the contract and then has to figure out how to break it. Because he signed the contract Fiona is leading a band of ogres against Rumplestiltskin, Puss has let himself go and has become a real fat cat, and donkey is as annoying as usual. The animation was as great as always and I had a good time, which is what I want when I go out. I saw it in 2D. I am not a big fan of 3D movies. IMDB rates it a 6.6, I gave it an 8.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iron Man 2.


After I saw Iron Man I stated that it was my favorite super-hero movie. That lasted six weeks until The Dark Knight came out. Iron Man 2 is every bit as good as the original. I am not a big Iron Man comic book fan, I have read some but not much. That has not stopped me from enjoying the movies, but I did have to look a few things up to get a better understanding. The movie universe is much different from the comic book one as far as the characters go. Mickey Roarke was fun watching as Whiplash, even though I never heard him referred to by that name in the movie. The only similarities between him and the comic book version is by name, although they recently did do a story to establish him in the comic book universe. The same can be said for Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell. He is much younger and an American here. I am not complaining about the changes, just pointing them out.

I am not sure exactly why the change was made in the James Rhodes character, with Don Cheadle replacing Terrance Howard, but again it didn't effect the movie. Scarlett Johansson filled out the Black Widow role very nicely. (When do get a Black Widow movie?) Gwyneth Paltrow showed who the real power was in keeping Tony Stark in line. As far as Robert Downey, Jr, he is the perfect choice for Tony Stark. The action is what you would expect for a super-hero movie with great special effects.

The fights were good. My favorites were Mickey Roarke tearing up the race in Monaco and the Iron Man-War Machine slugfest in Tony's house. However, I did find one scene totally unbelievable. I can accept the armor, the whips that Mickey Roarke used, and the robotic soldiers that Iron Man fought. What I can't accept is the scene where Tony talks to Nick Fury. He is sitting inside a large donut on top of a donut shop. Fury calls up to him and he comes down and they have a conversation inside the shop. What I find totally unbelievable that there were no papparazzi anywhere around. Someone would have called about Iron Man in the donut and they would have been swarming the place. (grin)

As with most Marvel movies there is an added scene at the end of the movie. If you are planning on seeing it and don't want to know about it quit reading here.


Agent Colsen of S.H.I.E.L.D. had been with Tony. He leaves and tells Tony that he is going to New Mexico. At the end arrives and we see an archeological dig. As the camera pans we see Mjolner, Thor's hammer.

IMDB rates Iron Man 2 7.5. I rated it 9.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010



Anybody care to guess what I am doing today? I will tell you all about it Thursday because tomorrow I will tell you about Iron Man 2. My smile for today is from my inner Jack Benny. Matinees are back and it won't cost quite so much. I am getting ready to head for Dalton now. After all in addition to the movie I need my comic book fix. Someday soon I will post about the books I am currently buying. well, to steal a catch phrase, I'll see you at the movies.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Writers Block.


Last week was a bad week for my blog. Each day I started to post an entry and each day ended in failure. The words simply would not flow. It is not the first time that it has happened to me but I was puzzled by it. What I intended to post was something that should have been easily written but I just couldn't get it right. Tuesday's post was going to be a quick one detailing my plans for Tuesday night. I went to Dalton to pick up my comics and had to get to bed earlier than usual because I was going to see Iron Man 2. I tried several approaches but I wasn't happy with any of them so I quit.

Wednesday's post was going to be a review of Iron Man 2. Reviews are usually easy for me but once again I couldn't get it right. I found a picture of the poster to use, uploaded it into a blog post and started writing. After changing the opening sentence 5 times I decided to just leave it alone and write the review Thursday. To borrow a phrase from Herman's Hermits second verse, same as the first. That left Friday and of course we all know that third times a charm, right. Third verse, same as the first. It was very frustrating for me, especially coming on the heels of my little extended blogging break, which had been longer than I planned on.

Friday night at work I was pondering what was going on. One of the great things about doing my job as long as I have is I can put my body on automatic and let my mind wander. I still can get everything done that I need to. The main question to myself was, why are you not writing? I enjoy writing but lately I have found it hard to do. So what is the problem? I contemplated it for about half an hour when something happened.




I realized what the problem was. So what was it? I'll tell you about in a couple of weeks. When I post it you too will see the light.

I find a lot of my writing as therapy for me. I have mentioned before this blog has become much more personal than I ever thought it would. The post I am writing is one grand session for me. There are two reasons why I am delaying it. One is it is special for me and I don't want to rush it. I want to spend some extra time to make sure it says what I want it too. The second reason is timing and again, when you read it you will understand.

On my entry last Monday I mentioned being questioned by my manager as to whether or not a truck had arrived. I forgot to put the kicker into the story. The truck arrived five minutes after I asked about it.

Smile for today. VH1 has ran several series around the theme I Love The (fill in the decade) They go through each year and talk about the news, fads, movies, etc from each year. One of them involved the old commercial "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" This morning I took the advice of one of the comedians (I believe it was Donal Logue) and I bought them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is It Their Responsibility?

I enjoy reading restaurant reviews. Most of the restaurants I would never eat at, but I like reading about what they serve. Depending on the paper, some of the reviews are basically ads with no criticism involved. Others will point out all the flaws from the decor to the service. One writer who I like is John Kessler, who writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is no longer the restaurant reviewer, but now a food columnist. The other day he did a point/counter-point with a doctor who had written to him. You can read it here. The doctors contention is that the reviewer should be covering the menu from a health perspective, telling calorie counts and nutrition information about what is served. Kessler's counter to that is it is not the reviewers job to do that.

I side with Kessler on this. Last week I mentioned KFC's Double Down sandwich and how it is the purchasers responsibility for what they consume. The same goes for restaurant reviews. If you are concerned about nutrition it is your place to ask at the restaurant. The reviewer's job is to let you know what to expect, painting a broad picture of the establishment. If it peaks your interest and you want to know specifics, then place a call and find out. Putting all that into a review would make the review very boring.

I understand where the doctor is coming from, but once again it seems like he is advocating personal responsibility being placed in someone elses hands. I don't need someone else telling me what I should and should not do. I don't always make the responsible choice, but I live with the consequences of my actions. No one else is to blame. I don't want the responsibility for anyone else.

My smile for the day came from work on Friday night. The frozen foods and dairy truck was four hours late. I went to one of the managers and asked if they knew when the truck would arrive. I was asked, "Are you sure it's not here yet?" That is now the second stupidest thing that I have ever heard a manager say.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thicker Skin Needed.


Bengie Molina is mad at ESPN. The other night on Sportscenter they showed Molina getting thrown out at home on a play that most players would have been safe on. When showing it the used slow motion and played a little of the music from the movie Chariots Of Fire. Molina felt he was disrespected. See it for yourself:





Personally I think Molina has blown the whole thing out of proportion. The rant was kicked off by Giants beat writer Henry Schulman who blogged about it on the San Francisco Chronicle website. Molina then commented on it in his blog at MLB.com. Bengie, what part of it was a joke don't you understand. I am sure you have been called much worse at the ballpark. He admitted he was the slowest runner in the league and the tape shows why. I can relate to being slow. When I ran in school they timed me with a sun dial. I find it hard to feel sorry for Bengie. He makes over $6 million. If you are an athlete and you mess up you are open for ridicule. You need to take a page from a former catchers book.



In his book A Catcher In The Wry, Uecker talked about his speed on the basepaths. He said they would whip the ball around the infield and still throw him out. It's just a game Bengie. There is no reason to get mad over something that small.

For the record, I would also knock any Cubs player who did the same thing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's The Problem?


While I was on my little hiatus, KFC came out with their newest offering, the Double Down. It is simple enough, two chicken breasts with bacon and cheese between them. It is eaten like a sandwich with the major difference being there is no bun. Of course this caused an outcry from those who claim that this is one of the reasons we are facing an obesity problem in this country. I have no use for people like that. First of all, is it any of their business what someone eats? Secondly, who made them the judge over this? I agree many people in this country could stand to lose some weight. I am one of them. It is my choice what to eat. I will not have a stranger telling me what to eat.

I get a little tired of people picking on certain businesses and blaming them for the ills of this country. Normally when it comes to food it is McDonald's that they go after. How nutritionally terrible is the Double Down? Calorie and fat wise it is similar to a Big Mac. Those complaining need take into account two things. First the restaurant is KFC. It is not a health food place. Second, no one is forcing you to eat there. Maybe I just look at things differently, but if I am offended by a business or a product I simply ignore them. Getting vocal about it doesn't solve anything. So would I eat a Double Down? Of course I would and I did yesterday. My opinion? It wasn't bad but I won't buy another one. My inner Jack Benny objects to the price. I've got to keep Jack happy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Communication.


What we have here is...failure to communicate. The Captain, Cool Hand Luke.

Wal-Mart is striving to become a green company. We have always recycled cardboard and a few years ago we started recycling plastic, not just the bags you get but all the plastic that is used on cases. Now we are going one step further. Compost piles are now being fed the produce, thawed frozen foods, and dairy products. So what does that have to do with communication? This was implemented but no one told those of us who work on third shift about it. Since then I have heard three different stories about what exactly is to be saved. The bad thing about the way this has been implemented is the powers that be seem to be leaving it open to interpretation. That is always scary because two people can read the same thing and walk away with different meanings. I am not complaining about having to do it, although it does make it a little more difficult for me, I just wished it had been explained better.

I think recycling is a good thing. I had been good about it for years but lately I hadn't been doing it. About a month ago I decided to quit being so lazy and so once again I am doing it. Here in Calhoun they will take tin cans, plastic containers, glass bottles, aluminum cans, newspaper and cardboard. I used to have a lot of newspaper, I would buy two a day, but with the price increases of papers I have just been getting my news online.

My smile for the day was caused by whoever sets pricing on grocery items for Wal-Mart. Our current price for Velveeta Shells and Cheese is $1.75. The varieties of it, bacon, broccoli, etc, is $1.74.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back To Blogging.



I'm back. Did you miss me? O.K. What clown there said "you were gone?' Anyway, I was hanging with my new friends Elvis and Bigfoot. We have been flying around in a UFO eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Not buying that one, eh. I just needed a little break away from writing.

My vacation was nice. My Lady and I went to the Chattanooga Zoo. It is not a large zoo but is very nice. I will be going back, but will go alone. I enjoyed seeing it with My Lady, but she goes a little faster than I like to. Here are some pictures that I took while there.

They have a petting zoo there. You had to walk through the pen to see these Shetland ponies. Behind the ponies was a camel.


I cropped this picture so you would get a better look at this peacock. This is my favorite of the pictures that I took. I am currently using the full version of this as my wallpaper.


The zoo has five chimpanzees. This is the only one that was out while we were there. A couple of minutes after I took this the chimp gave us a different view.

A lot of the pictures that I took didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, but I need more practice. The ones of the more exotic animals were not good. When I go back I'll try again. The day after the zoo we took My Lady's grandson to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. I had heard of it before but I thought it was more of a rock and minerals museum. I was definately wrong. Those are there, but there is so much more. They have old cars, a replica of the Wright Brothers flier, a replica of a Gemini space capsule, a replica of Apollo 1 after the fire, and much more. Once again, I will be going back by myself. I took a few pictures but will post them after I go back. To me we ran through it so I will go at my pace.

I will post one more picture before I leave, this of my partner in crime, Bun. He seems to think he is a cat now. For awhile he was happy to sit on my lap for a few minutes. Now he wants to lay on my chest. I will try to take a picture of him and I will post that when I get it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Song.



In honor of Mothers Day, here is John Lennon's song about his mother. I hope all of the mothers who read this had a great day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Different Look For Harry Potter.


If you would like to see more butter statues, go here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Returning.


Tomorrow-pictures.
Sunday-a song.
Monday-the usual BS.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vacation.

I am on vacation and will be back posting Saturday. Before I go I wanted to share something that my niece sent me. This is what the email said:
This is pretty simple.... Please ask ten friends to each ask a another ten to forward this e-mail today!
The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (about 15 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box "fund food for animals for free." This doesn't cost you a thing.
Corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Please pass it along to people you know.
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/

I am always skeptical about things like this, but this one is legitimate. Take a minute and help feed some animals that need it. I will be going back every day as long as they do this.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How Star Trek Should Have Ended.



I have a lot to today but I wanted to share this. If you want to see more they have a website called, naturally enough, How It Should Have Ended.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Customer Is Always Right, A Modern Fable.


The philosophy behind the phrase the customer is always right is sound, but it was never meant to taken literally. From a business sense, without customers you have no business. On the other hand, there are some customers who are more trouble than they are worth. Some people seem to believe that they can enter a store and be treated like royalty. They would complain even if you shined their shoes and waxed their car. We have to tolerate a lot, but if a customer is abusive to us they will be told to leave. I have never been impressed with someone telling that a certain store does things better then we do. If you really feel that way then why aren't you shopping there? When they are in that store they probably tell the employees there that Wal-Mart is a much better store than they are.

There are also those who believe they are much smarter than the stores employees. In all fairness, they are some retail workers and management who, to use an old phrase, couldn't pour pee out of a boot with instructions written on the heel. I had a customer the other night tell me that I didn't know what I was talking about. She was wanting a Smithfield shank ham. She had asked some others and they came and got me. When it comes to meat I do have some retail experience. The first grocery store that I worked in I spent a few hours every week behind a meat counter. I found a shank ham and gave it to her. I was told it wasn't a shank because it didn't say so on the label. The label read half ham, which was the same wording on the butt end hams. I really wanted to ask the lady if she had ever bought a ham before, but of course I didn't. That morning I talked to one of our meat guys about it. (They don't work third shift.) He told me they used to have shank on the label but they quit doing that. I guess the lady will just have to switch brands.

Today's smile comes from the department of redundancy department. Last night I was breaking down the pallets of frozen foods. In addition to the merchandise that I stock they are products for the meat department, the deli, and the bakery. One case for the bakery was lemon meringue pies. The case stated they were sugar free and no sugar added.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stumped.


Something unusual happened to me the other night. A customer asked for a product and I had no idea where he could get the item at. I realize that statement makes me sound conceited, or as My Lady charmingly phrases it, a sexual intellect,(an f'n know it all), but I have worked retail long enough that I know where you can find almost anything. If it is in Wal-Mart I can at least send you to the right department, or if they don't carry it I can tell you where to go get it at. The product the gentleman was looking for was powdered eggs. He had a recipe that he needed it for. I have never seen it in any stores that I have been in but I will be looking closer in the future. It is available on-line, but you should be able to walk in a store and get it. Probably the best place would be a store that sells camping supplies, or a bakery supply store. That is something I'm going to check on while I'm on vacation next week.

I enjoy walking through stores, seeing what merchandise they have and how it is displayed. There is a psychology to selling. When I worked for Woolco I was the shoe department manager. One trick I was taught was to put the flashiest shoes on the first five feet of sales space. The object was to catch the customers eye and hopefully get them to walk down and check out the rest of the aisle. A good display can make or break a product. A lot of thought goes into product placement. One example of that is canned soup. It is very rare to see chicken noodle or tomato an any shelf other than the bottom one. The reason for that is people don't need any real incentive to buy those. They will seek them out. What you find at eye level are the varieties that are more impulse buys. You really didn't come in looking for it, but it sounds interesting and you give it a try. It really does work.

Today's smile comes from a case of Barber's Chicken Cordon Blue that I stocked last night. Barber's motto is "Dinner, Rescued." On their cases they have a definition; Refrigerator Coma n(2008) Condition brought on by a lack of interesting dinner options.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Song.



Mac Davis and the Muppets. What more could you ask for?

Today's smile may be your groan. I like puns. Here are a few I found on Mark Evanier's website.

  • A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
  • Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"
  • Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron," The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
  • A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
  • A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."
  • These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
  • Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate every little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him ..(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
  • And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Smiles.



My niece sent me an email with several pictures like this. It was titled Photos Taken at The Right Angle. I'll be posting more over the next few weeks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Bag Of Money To Go.

I enjoy reading about dumb criminals. It is amazing what people think they can actually get away with. The other day at Wal-Mart a man was arrested for shoplifting. According to him his girlfriend sent him to the store to steal. Not only that, she had given him a list. His story was supported by the list being on a text message on his phone. His girlfriend is being charged with being an accessory.

As dumb as that was it will be very hard for anyone to top Albert Bailey of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bailey phoned a branch of the People's Bank in Fairfield, Connecticut and told them to have a bag containing $100,000 ready or there would be a bloodbath. The bank went on lockdown and of course called the police. What they were not aware of was Baily had a 16 year old accomplice already in the bank. He handed a teller the note unaware of the fact someone else was calling the police. They gave him a bag containing $9000 and let him out of the bank as Bailey pulled up. Of course the police grabbed them immediately. They both should have plenty of time to think about the errors of their ways.

I had said I was going to post something every day that made me smile. This story was it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Smiles.


I love this picture. The artist is Andrew Zubko. When this painting started making the rounds he wasn't being credited for it. He said he didn't mind it being seen, just give him the credit he is due. Great job, Andrew.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out, Part 2.


I just thought about it. In a Wal-Mart in Turnersville, New Jersey someone actually did it. About 5:00 PM on Sunday there was an announcement for all blacks in the store to get out. The store manager then got on the intercom and told everyone that wasn't true. They are investigating now to figure out who made the announcement. If it turns out to be an employee he will obviously be fired, and then face legal charges. So how did they access the phones if it wasn't an employee? It is not hard. Most of the phones have the intercom on speed dial. They even are labeled, which makes it that much easier. If the phone doesn't have that, there is a code that we can punch in to use it. I look for all the stores to go back to that system now.

I have a hard time understanding that type of thinking. I have no prejudices when it comes to people. I judge them by their character, not the color of their skin or their nationality. There are good and bad in all peoples. After all, for those of us who are white, would we want to be compared with Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer? I treat everyone the same until they give me a reason not too. I hope they catch the nut who did this. It will probably turn out to be an ex-employee or someone who just hates Wal-Mart. There are plenty of those people to go around.



This was my smile of the day. I have posted some examples of Last Kiss before. This is one of my favorites.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Traveling Prologue.


I am a great procrastinator. Last year I had planned on doing a lot of sight-seeing and I ended up for the most part just staying home. I am changing that this year. I have already made a list of places I want to see. I have two lists, one for short trips that can be done on my days off, and one for longer ones that I will do when I am on vacation. There are 13 places on the short list, 10 on the long one. I will probably add a few more before the year is out. I have decided to blog about each place when I go. I will also take some pictures when I am there and I will post the best of those here. The majority of them will be Civil War related, but not all. I enjoy Civil War battlefields, museums, zoos, and off beat tourist attractions. An example of one of those is a trip I am planning to Corbin, Kentucky to see the first Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is now a museum. I was there about eight years ago and couldn't go in because they were renovating the place.

I get two weeks vacation but the way I take it I get one full week off and three five day vacations. The five days I take from Saturday through Thursday. I am taking one of those on Easter weekend, the second the first week in June, and the last the first week in August. I will take a full week around Labor Day, which is when I visiting in Illinois. Next month My Lady and I are planning on spending the day in Chattanooga, but we haven't finalized our plans yet. My dad told me to do whatever traveling I could when I had the chance. He always wanted to and planned on doing it when he retired. Unfortunately his health prevented him from doing much. Now I will get off my lazy butt and see some things.




On the Captain Comics Board there is a thread called What Made You Smile Today? Every post I will mention something that made me smile the previous day. I have been planning on doing this for about a week but as I said, I am a great procrastinator. Yesterday I posted something there. I am going to put it here, but this will be a longer version because a lot of you don't read comic books and wouldn't understand what I am talking about. (What do you mean that would make it just another post here?) Some days that may be the only thing I post.

I was reading The Human Target number 2 today. The Human Target is no super hero. The character was created in the 70's and has appeared in two TV series, on of which is now playing on Fox. Basically he protects those who have been targeted for death, usually by impersonating them, but not always. His name is Christopher Chance.

The basic story is Christopher Chance is bringing back an elderly criminal from Europe who wants to reveal some mob secrets before he dies. Before they return they have to retrieve the written records that the man has secreted all over Europe. In this issue they have to retrieve a book from a crypt in the Vatican. The mobsters daughter is concerned about their going to hell for their actions. Chance thinks to himself "Definitely going straight to hell". When I turned the page there was an advertisement for the video game Dante's Inferno. I laughed out loud.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Salt Police Are Coming.


A wise man once said it is better to keep your mouth shut and to be thought of as an idiot, than to open your mouth and prove it. Unfortunately politicians and celebrities are unfamiliar with that philosophy. (Although it is fortunate for us so we can poke fun at them.) A bill has been introduced in the New York State legislature to ban the use of salt in all food preparations in restaurants. Customers would be allowed to use salt shakers. The man who introduced the bill is Felix Ortiz, a Democrat from Brooklyn. The reason he proposed the bill is because his dad used too much salt, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack. Using that logic I would guess had his dad died in a car accident he would be proposing banning all cars. Assemblyman Ortiz has admitted he knows nothing about cooking and never studied what effect this bill would have on the restaurant industry. (I was stunned by that revelation. I figured the man was a Rhodes Scholar.) The best comment I read was from a man who claimed Ortiz should go back to his Puerto Rican roots. Before you think that was a racial slam the man who suggested it was Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, a fellow Puerto Rican. You can read his remarks here.

I could be wrong, but my belief is this bill was introduced as a way for Assemblyman Ortiz to make a name for himself. He would bill himself about the man who cares for the health of the people. He has made a name for himself, but it is not what he imagined. I took a little bit of time to exam his record. I spent a little time checking out the bills he has sponsored. I quit counting after I hit 150. That doesn't count the ones he is co-sponsoring. Life shaking things like ordering health inspectors to educate food workers about allergens, authorizing school districts to come up with drug policies for students and mandating drug testing for police officers at least 4 times a year. I guess he is trying to justify his salary. With all of the financial troubles we are facing today I believe that lawmakers should be concentrating on those issues instead of making more laws that end up spending more money. I know what my problem is. I watched too much Star Trek and I think like a Vulcan.

For the record, I don't think there is anything wrong with his proposals that I listed, other than the salt one. I just don't feel they need state mandates. In case you are wondering exactly how that picture goes along with today's theme, those are salt and pepper shakers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lord Of The Onion Rings.


I saw this painting the other day and I would love to own, but the $900 price tag puts it a little out of my reach. The artist is Dave MacDowell. If you have some time check out some of his other paintings. The Lord Of The Rings is my all time favorite movie. I count all three movies as one. I'll talk about that the other day.

In yesterday's comments comments Caron said "I usually just shrug it off or complain to a friend in a mocking sort of way like, "Can you believe they don't love me anymore? They stopped selling the only yogurt I will eat: raccoon and pomegranate!" I forgot that I was going to mention that I went around telling people that we wouldn't be getting any more bonuses because that lady wasn't buying any more fifty cent yogurts. By the way Caron, the reason that we quit carrying the raccoon and pomegranate is because pomegranate is so out of style. We have replaced it with raccoon and acai berry. Seriously, acai berry is hot right now. They have just put it out in a pudding with dark chocolate.

Inventory is Thursday morning and I won't be there. I am holding back the tears real well. Now if they will give me off Black Friday my year will be fantastic. I'm not holding my breath on that one. I'll be shocked if I get it off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out.


The other night I heard the words that anyone who has worked retail for any length of time has heard, "I'm never shopping here again." What tragedy occurred that drove the lady to utter that you ask. We reset the yogurt section and we no longer carry the flavor of yogurt she buys. I know, a really tragic situation. Of course she was blaming me for it. Yes, I called the office and told them to drop that yogurt just so she would no longer shop there. Note to self, be more subtle next time. The customers are catching on.

Naturally I was non-committal in dealing with her. According to her that was the only reason that she ever set foot in Wal-Mart. My eyes must have been playing tricks on me, but it appeared that she had a few other items in her cart. I didn't bother pointing that out to her. Another thing that I didn't bother pointing out was the cost of the "only item" that she ever came to Wal-Mart for was 50 cents a container. First of all, if that is all you come for, why bother? Secondly, do you really think that your not buying a fifty cent item is going to make a difference to us?

Of course this is not the first time I have heard this threat. Complaining to the stockers does not get you any results. All we do is put the merchandise out. We have no say in what is sold. The store manager does not have that much say. They can request a certain item, but there is no guarantee that the buyers will agree. Also you need to realize that all Wal-Mart Supercenters are not equal, some being larger than others. Our store is one of the medium sized ones. You may find a certain grocery item in one store, but not the next one you go in. There simply isn't room for everything.

There are several reasons why something is dropped. First, the total sales of the item may not be high enough and they want something else in its place. Secondly, a manufacturer may not be able to produce the volume of product needed to place it in Wal-Mart. Finally, the volume may not be enough for the manufacturer and they have discontinued making it. You may not be happy about no longer getting something you want, but don't take it out on the workers, especially one who blogs. He may take the opportunity to make you look a little foolish.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blue Oyster Cult



The last concert I attended was in January, 1978. As you can tell from the concerts I have been too, my musical tastes are all over the board. I like a little bit of everything, with very few exceptions. In seeing three concerts I paid a total of $19.50. That wouldn't even get in the door today.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You Be The Judge.


Last year I wrote about receiving mail for my wife. I still am getting the mail, at least three a month. I did get one of them stopped. She was sent a letter wanting to sell her car insurance. I then received a follow-up phone call. When they asked to speak with her I informed the lady that she was dead. The lady was extremely apologetic and I have not heard from them since. Yesterday I recieved a letter from the National Institute Of Infant Nutrition. It was a survey for her to fill out. One thing that the survey said that made me shake my head was "Please be assured that we will not sell your name to anyone." I wonder how they got her name? The survey came complete with a postage paid envelope. I am returning the survey, unfilled of course, along with the following note:

Please remove Debra's name from your database. I don't know where you got her name from, but she died on June 5, 2000. For the last year I have been receiving baby mailings addressed to her. I would appreciate it if you could stop some of this. Thank you.

The note was a lot tamer than what originally went through my mind to write. My original thoughts were both rude and sarcastic. I decided that tone was not needed. I am curious if you think I did the right thing by writing or do you think I should have just thrown it away? Originally I found it funny, but I am now getting a little annoyed by it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Million Dollar Comic Book.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a copy of Action number 1 that sold for a million dollars. At that time I questioned whether or not it was an actual sale or a publicity stunt. As far as I can tell it was a legitimate sale, however it is no longer the most expensive comic book. A copy of Detective number 27 has sold at auction for $1,075,500. I am amazed that someone is paying that much for a comic book in this economy, but if that is what makes them happy, more power to them. I am a comic book collector, but mainly I am a comic book reader. I am more concerned with reading the story than I am the value of the book. I buy a lot of collections that reprint the stories, which is usually a lot cheaper than buying the individual issues. I know people who buy books and then store them away without reading them. I don't do that. My collection isn't going to make me rich, but that's O.K. It makes me happy, which is what it's all about.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Barry Manilow.



The second concert I went to was Barry Manilow. I saw him in 1975. This was the most expensive concert I went to. It cost me $7.50. Early in his career he wrote commercial jingles. This is a medley of those.

Friday, March 5, 2010

MMMMM....Bacon.

Have you ever thought to yourself, you know it would be great to have a lamp with a bacon lampshade. Well today is your lucky day. If you go here you can learn how to make one.


Link

If you have a bacon lampshade, wouldn't it be great if you could go around smelling like bacon? If you go here you can buy some bacon soap.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Attitude.

I approach work differently than most of my co-workers. I work frozen foods two nights a week, Sunday and Monday. The other person is always complaining about how much they have to do and swear there is no way they can get it done. Normally they are also exaggerating how much freight they have to work. There are a couple of reasons why they can't get it done. One is the way they organize the freight and the second is their defeatist attitude. When the attitude is I am not going to get the job done anyway why should I bother to try hard. I thought about them Monday night when I opened the freezer door and saw what was there.

The truck had about 1100 pieces on it. I always look up the delivery schedule the night before so I know what to expect. 1100 may seem like a lot, but it is split between frozen foods, dairy, lunch meats, frozen meats, deli and bakery. There were 10 pallets on the truck and six of them were frozen. Our other frozen foods worker would have been flipping out, since three-fourths of that was our freight. Instead of saying there is too much here I simply started working on it. They would have been correct in saying one person can't get all that done. The first decision I made was to break down four of the pallets. I did not do the ice cream pallet because ice cream takes longer to than the rest. It comes in wrapped in plastic, usually 4 containers to a package. Cutting that off is somewhat time consuming so I left it. I also decided not to break down what we call the bunker pallet. The bunkers are the cases that you bend over and reach into. The one we stock has burritos, corn dogs, and pre-cooked chicken products in it. Normally we only have 15 to 20 cases on that pallet. So that left me with four pallets to do.

One thing that I do differently is I break all of the pallets down at once instead of stocking them one at a time. When I break them down I use three empty pallets and a cart. One of the pallets is for all the dinners, one for for vegetables, fish, and snacks like pizza rolls and cheese sticks, and the third for breakfast items, fruit, juices, and pies. On the cart I put pizzas, biscuits, and garlic bread. Normally we do not have as much freight as we did Monday. The reason there was so much is we recieved what is called comac. Comac is multiple cases of one item or similar group of items, basically the items you find in the end doors. For example we got in about 80 cases of Banquet dinners. All I had to do was put that on separate pallets, our day crew stocks them. Of the four I broke down two of them were comac. On the nights I do stock ice cream I leave that pallet in the freezer and break it down separately. Ice cream thaws faster so it has to stocked quicker than other frozen items. By breaking the truck down that way I can concentrate on one side at a time, instead of walking all over the area.

By approaching the night with the attitude that I have I get more accomplished. I never say it is too much, I simply start doing it. It is like the old saying a long journey starts with one step. I normally get everything done, but I don't worry about it if I don't. We normally have to unload a meat and produce truck during the night. Those departments don't have anyone working third shift, so the person in dairy and me get to do it. Another thing we have to do before we leave is what Wal-Mart calls zoning. That is where you bring a few of each product to the front of the shelves. I have also heard it called fronting or facing. People who work grocery are only responsible for one aisle. In frozen foods we are responsible for two and a half aisles, not to mention the end doors.

Starting the night with the right attitude is what makes the difference between a successful night and a failed night. The managers are always pushing us and telling us if we can't do it all there will be trouble. I don't let them bother me. I know when I leave in the morning that I have done the very best that I could. Once I have clocked out I am able to leave everything behind. I hear others reciting what they didn't get done. My attitude is oh well. I know I earned my money.

Monday, March 1, 2010

14 Years.


14 years ago today my wife and I moved to Georgia. We had both lived all of our lives in central Illinois, except for a five month period shortly after our marriage when we lived in the Chicago area. So why did we uproot and move 600 miles? At that time we had been married 18 years. Our marriage was going through a rough period and I was being hassled at my job. We decided a change of scenery might help strengthen our relationship.

My mother-in-law had moved to Calhoun a few years before. She had been trying to get us to move here,but we had always resisted. I have mentioned before that she never liked me so I wasn't crazy about the idea. My wife was a little hesitant too because of the way she was treated, yet we decided to come. One big factor was my mother-in law worked at the hospital and they were needing a housekeeper. I was wanting to do something different, I had been cleaning for 16 years, but I took the job until I could find something else. A little more than a year later I went to work for Kmart.

Things did come crashing down when my wife died in 2000. After the funeral one of her brothers asked me how soon was I moving back to Illinois. My comment to him was "what for?" I enjoy living here. I had a job and I couldn't see starting over again. Not to mention the fact that Illinois has winter. I lost all enjoyment of wintertime when I was 13 and my hands were frostbitten. At times I do miss being around my family, but I go and see everyone once a year. It is nice seeing them, but when I come back and cross the Georgia line I feel like I am home. Never say never, but I don't foresee anything happening where I will move again.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bananas.



I have mentioned before that I have been to three concerts in my life, the last one in 1977. For the next three weeks I will embed one video from each of the performers. Harry Chapin is one of my favorite singers. He did not get much radio play other than his song Cat's In The Cradle. For the most part his songs were too long for radio.

Today is the National Rare Disease Day. I have mentioned before that My Lady has neurofibromatosis. According to the website of NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there are over 7000 rare diseases and over 30 million Americans affected by them. Those of us with good health sometimes take it for granted. If you are not effected you should count your blessings. My Lady does not let her condition get her down. It is part of what makes her unique and what I love about her.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Somewhat Bad News.




I got some news at work last night that makes me feel like these guys. It concerns inventory at Wal-Mart. I have discussed before, here and here, just how much of a thrill I get at inventory time. I look so forward to this time of the year. The only thing comparable would be Black Friday. Just the thought of working the night before, when most of the night is spent just straightening the counters to get it ready for counting is so exciting. The bad news is this year inventory takes place on March 18, which is a Thursday morning. That is my regular day off so I will miss out on all the fun of preparing for it. I am so depressed. I thought about jumping out the window of my apartment, but I'm on the ground floor. Sticking my head in the oven wouldn't work because it's an electric oven. I tried taking a bunch of pills, but they turned out to be M&M's. Oh, well, I guess I will just have to be brave and suffer through. Now if any of you actually bought any of that I deserve this.


Not only am I off, My Lady is too. Since it is a payday, we will go out and eat. We will try very hard not to laugh at our co-workers who are stuck in the store getting ready. I find straightening like that to be one of the boringest things that can be done in retail. It is a necessary evil, like enduring Black Friday. The work is not hard, but the night seems to go so slow. This is the first time in the five years that I've worked at Wal-Mart that I have missed an inventory. I promise not to celebrate too much.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Million Dollar Comic Book?


I remember in the '70's a young man bought a copy of Action 1, the first appearance of Superman, and paid the then-shocking price of $1800. The fact that he paid that much was known because he basically called up a reporter and bragged about what he had done. His 15 minutes of fame also got him an appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. I had not thought about him in years until this story caught my attention.

The story claims that someone has bought a copy and actually paid a million dollars for it. I have not looked into it much yet, but I am a little skeptical of this story. First of all, the buyer and seller are both anonymous. Granted, if I paid a million dollars for a book I wouldn't want much publicity. Of course, if I did it the first question the authorities would have for me is where did you get the money. Secondly, the person quoted in the article is affiliated with the Comic Book Collecting Association, an organization that has been active all of 24 hours. I may be wrong, but I smell a publicity stunt. Tonight I will look closer into this story and will say a little more about it tomorrow.Link